The 2016 election campaign certainly broke new ground but it also broke the bank. According to campaign finance watchdog OpenSecrets.org, the final bill for the election came to $6.5 billion. Of that amount, the presidential race accounted for $2.4 billion while congressional contests came to $4 billion. The cost of the 2016 presidential campaign was lower than both 2008 ($2.8 billion) and 2012 ($2.6 billion) while the price of congressional elections hit an all-time high.
The financial outlay was divided evenly between Democrats and Republicans with each party covering 47.7 percent of the total cost (the remaining 4.6 percent came from independents). $6.5 billion is a massive sum of money and the Washington Post recently tried to put it into perspective. They calculated that $6.5 billion could fix Flint Michigan's lead problem 30 times over, provide 15 years of funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting or give every public school teacher in America a $2,000 raise.
Total spent on congressional/presidential races (actual dollars).
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